Winter is certainly here. The temperature has dropped, the wind can be pretty harsh and snow has been forecast for some parts of the country. But adapting for seasonal changes doesn’t just mean changing from lightweight clothes to layers, sandals to slippers, fans to fires or cold drinks to hot chocolates. We need to make some tweaks to our skin and haircare routines too to get ready for winter’s bite.
As a result of the drier winter air, lower humidity and indoor heating, many of us experience increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) at this time of year. TEWL is the process of moisture evaporating from the epidermis due to pressure from both sides of the skin barrier, which begins to strip the skin of its natural lipids that hold the cells together. Our skin then becomes dehydrated, dull, can appear red and inflamed, and feel itchy, while our hair and scalp become dry, flaky, frizzy, brittle and prone to breakage. Cold air also tightens pores and slows down blood circulation making it harder for our cells to get the nourishment they need.
OUR TOP WINTER SKINCARE TIPS:
- Hot baths or showers can strip skin of its natural oils so only use luke-warm water and stay in for less time.
- Products with high percentages of alcohol can also dry out the skin further so avoid these (the higher up the ingredients list they are, the higher the concentration).
- Avoid having the temperature of your heating on too high or keeping it on constantly (especially if you’re working from home). Invest in a humidifier to add some moisture back into the environment which your skin will then benefit from.
- As we do with our clothes for warmth, comfort and protection, layer up your skin-care products. Use a hydrating serum under your winter moisturiser. Serum penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and combats dryness and flaking. Follow up by using a face oil to lock in the moisture and provide nourishment.
- We also believe prevention is better than cure, so start adding some oils into your daytime skincare – a drop into moisturiser, primer, SPF or foundation is usually enough. Face oils containing fruit, nut and seed oils help to form a protective seal on the skin’s protective barrier to reduce water loss, ultimately helping to keep skin supple and boost radiance again.
- Try a hydrating face mask if your skin is very dry.
- Use an SPF. Remember, those UV rays can still be harmful, even in winter. Also opt for a dual-purpose lip balm – protecting and hydrating – to avoid dry, cracked and sore lips.
- It is still important to exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells, boost skin cell regeneration and better product absorption.
- Give yourself a face massage. This helps boost blood circulation which brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin. It helps with skin hydration levels and tightness and allows products to penetrate deeper into the skin.
- Do some exercise and get that heart pumping again to boost blood circulation.
- Keep antioxidant-rich foods in your diet (particularly vitamin E which helps the skin to retain moisture). These tend to be raw vegetables and salads in the summer, but in winter you can still keep on top with nuts and seeds. Even spices like turmeric help. Eating foods rich in essential fats also help moisturise skin from the inside. Oily fish is the best source.
OUR TOP WINTER HAIR CARE TIPS:
- We may find it more challenging to drink enough water at this time of year but we really do need to keep our hydration levels up to help prevent skin and hair from drying out. Water helps stimulate a healthier scalp, encourages hair growth, prevents split ends and brittle hair. If you are struggling to do this, try hot fruit teas or eat food which has a high water concentration such as watermelon, carrots and peppers.
- Our scalp is skin too and will be feeling the change in temperature. Massage it with or without oil. Oil provides some nourishment to the roots but even when done without, the benefits are there – massaging increases circulation and brings fresh blood and nutrients and helps release natural oils to keep the scalp supple.
- You can also mix a drop or 2 of oil into your conditioner to give it a moisturising kick. Rinsing it out will not leave an oily residue. It is best to apply conditioner to the ends of hair anyway or apply oil to dry hair, just on the ends. Using a conditioner helps reduce hair breakage and prevents frizziness.
- Use a deep conditioning hair mask once a week to help with dry, damaged hair. These provide hydration, helps boost hair growth, softens, adds shine to hair and helps prevent scalp conditions.
- If you have time, air dry your hair at room temperature and avoid heat styling as this draws even more moisture out of your hair and increases breakage. Do not go out with wet hair as this can cause more damage. If you do need to go out, then dry your hair using a hairdryer on a lower setting.
- Try to get your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks. This helps maintain healthy hair and removes dry, split ends.
- We all love to wear our warm woollen hats but they can actually cause damage to our hair, causing breakage and static, can trap oil at the roots which leave ends dry and damaged. Try wearing a silk headscarf or line your hat with one.
You might also like to read:
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR YOUR SKIN AND HAIR DURING WINTER?
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